When I travelled as a child, I always had a clutch of books. While others couldn’t read in the car, I would have my nose in a book with no ill effect. I would read for most of the journey. Once finished, I’d gaze out of the window enjoying the moving scene.
I am the youngest of four, it eventually reached the stage where my older siblings found other pursuits more interesting than holidaying with the family or they were away at school. Suited me as, I tended to have the back seat of the car all to myself. No one to argue with. Room to spread out.
Later, I travelled by train and plane for work. I looked forward to these journeys as I knew I’d have plenty of time to read. I went through shelves full of sci-fi and discovered the best train station book stores to buy my favourites from.
In contrast, my children prefer to have travel entertainment which is more interactive and collaborative. They like I-spy type of games that they can all play together. I make spotting lists for journeys, or they will make up stories together. Sometimes there are arguments but mainly they are happy. A good job as all three of them sit along the back seat together. Continue reading
Imagine the scene. You take a family walk along the beach. Everyone has had fun exploring and making new discoveries. Tiny crabs have been picked up and examined. Seaweed has been waved around like mini, festive streamers.
Pockets are filled with sea shells and interesting stones. Tired, but happy, you call it a day. Before you climb in the car, with half the beach in your sandals, the day is finished off with ice creams and ice lollies from the local van positioned perfectly in the car park. At least one child has chosen the ice lolly that turns their tongue blue, and then spends the next five minutes making sure everyone has seen it.
Sigh. It is the kind of day that lives on in the collective memory of all the family.
Hours, days or even months later, you reach into your pocket and find a few shells still nestled in your pocket. Along with a generous sprinkling of sand that instantly squeezes under your nails. The memories flood back. I cannot deny it. I love beachcombing. Each year, our collection of seaside finds seem to grow. I have jam jars on the windowsills, filled with shells, pebbles and fossils. Not forgetting my favourite sea glass. It really is time I started crafting with them.
Today, Middle daughter and I came up with a plan. We made a game that we’d read about in one of our maths books. Four seaside pebbles were painted with a snail, a butterfly, a grasshopper and a snake. All creatures we find in our garden. Continue reading
Take one cereal box, a choice of paints and a bag of marbles, and what do you get?
Answer: A morning of fun.
Also a great way to practise some adding up too. Learning should always be this fun, don’t you think?
(Each arch had a number: 5, 10, 15. Marble goes through and the number is added to total.)
Off in the kitchen, Eldest made flapjacks.
Next on to botany.
(Does this remind anyone else of a flamingo?)
Moon bean is ready for potting up.
(Wondering if it may be a mistake to name a plant? Especially one that other creatures like to munch.)
We’ve watched the beans split. We’ve discussed why the roots might develop before the stem. Now it’s time to rescue this plant from its confines.
I’m sure there was almost an audible sigh from that bean, as the bag was split open.
Good luck, little runner bean.
(Best tip I ever received from a successful female boss was to wear red nail varnish if you want to garden at the weekends and still look presentable at work the next day. BL is embracing this notion early.)
Next up. Lego. What can I say about Lego that hasn’t already been said? Engineering, design, creative thinking and more. Undoubtedly, another worthy learning activity during the holiday.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen Eldest made cake. All by herself.
School may be out, but long live learning!
By the end of the day, I felt like I had achieved nothing. Dispiriting. Then I looked back at the photos on my camera and realised that I had helped others achieve. And that, I believe, is an achievement on its very own.